Techstars London 2015: Demo Day

Hello dear reader. It has been a while. We’ve had been incredibly busy since my last Techstars related post and now it was time to write one last post (there might be more, depending how long this one turns out to be, I want to basically cover from where I left it off).

Checking my last post, it seems I did it just before the intensive pitching practice period began. And believe me, “intensive” is an understatement – if not ask Stan. For three weeks, every day at least once or twice a day, with some days up to 4 times – and this was just the “official” practices – I bet every single one of the CEO practiced on their own quite a lot. And did it pay off!

Every evening, during practice there would be one of the mentors or some other pitching eminence to give feedback on the content of the pitches. And let me tell you, it felt a bit like the Mentor Whiplash and the pitches ended up all being quite different from the original ones. But all worth it.

Demo Day arrived. The date: Tuesday 13th of October. The place: Royal Institute of Great Britain. The time: 6:45am. Yes, you read that right, 6:45am! All CEOs and the slides drivers(*) had to be there nice an early to do a dressed rehearsal just before the real thing. We did one last week as well – it was quite entertaining seeing the exercises that Stewart, the pitch coach, made the CEOs go through, so I didn’t mind much seeing it again. It surely brought the energy in the room up!

And then the very expected moment arrived. Flocks of people coming into the auditorium. Lots of known faces. Pressure rising. Max on stage introducing the managing directors of Techstars globally Mark Solon and David Brown. He later thanked all sponsors. And then the CEOs…

Mark from Hackajob opened up first, followed by Gideon from Ambie, Ales from TeskaLabs, Sofia from NomNom, Rodolfo from Weave.ai, Tom from PrintToPeer, our very own Stan from Headliner, Julie from Curious, Martin from Sorry as a Service, Kaili from Deekit and finally Rowan from Spero. Big shout out to all of you! You totally smashed it! So proud of you all!

Our man pitching:

Right after the pitches we had an hour where we could meet investors or have a chat with other people in the community. It was good to meet so many people interested in Headliner. It does make you feel good about all the hard work you have put over the last few months.

Demo day was the culmination of Techstars and we finished it in style. At around 6pm all the people in the cohort (and a few other special guests) gathered in the office for some pre-drinks before heading to Piano Works where the after-party was meant to happen.

It was an important time for us at Headliner, as one of our acts, The P.Y.T’s, was playing that night. It was our chance to show what our company is about. Nothing other than bringing the party and make the event unforgettable. We were overwhelmed with the positive feedback we got out of it – everyone had a blast (including ourselves!). So much I’ve still caught myself thinking about the night a week after!

The whole experience went by so quickly – I still can’t believe everything is over. Another post coming up with stats on sleeping patterns, several thank you’s and more about startup life after Techstars.

Until then, have a listen to our intro music for Demo Day…

(*) The person that clicks next on keynote as the CEO is speaking. An absolutely crucial job that requires a lot of finger stretching and practicing. Usually performed by the CTO or any other individual that doesn’t mind taking the responsibility of screwing up such important task.